Give me your hand and we can walk to the edge of the ocean, if you’d like. We won’t jump in, but if we find some flat, smooth stones along the way, maybe we can have a skipping competition. We’ll count the ripples, even if there’s only one. Someday you’ll do this for me as well, I know you will. There’s not a day that goes by where I can think of anything else I’d rather do.

The pale golden sand will stretch far to our right and to our left, and sometimes it’ll be too warm to stand on. But when we turn away from the ocean and see the sand dunes and forest beyond, mayhaps our hearts will sink and we shall stand here a bit longer, or mayhaps we will trudge on, forlorn faces intently fixed on where the trunks meet the ground. For though the placid forest calls out name in rustles and creaks, what lies beyond is unforeseen and most certainly ravenous and petulant, bordering on pugnacious.

But think not on that for the time being. We are here and the salt air is playing with each strand of hair that we ever dared to think up. Stand here a bit longer, my friend, and when you are ready, we will turn and face that which seeks to dishearten us, together.

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